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Sprite recolor tutorial (Read 8984 times)

Started by Bastard Mami, August 07, 2009, 12:05:57 AM
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Sprite recolor tutorial
#1  August 07, 2009, 12:05:57 AM
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This tutorial explains my recoloring method, I decided to make a tutorial as the method is relatively complex even if explaining to clever people, but the advantage of this method is that it is very fast and can save you a lot of time.

I. Tools.

To oversimplify this tutorial I will use free tools that anybody can legally download from the net, so it's not necesary to  buy anything, if you are used to other programs you can just adapt this method to it.

a) the tools: those are used to shift palette entries and to batch paste sprites, it's a set of small programs I amde to speed up this process.
http://rapidshare.com/files/237961002/tools1.0.rar

b) irfan view: fast iamge viewer and conversor, for this tutorial it will be used to convert pcx files to png and viceversa.
http://www.irfanview.com/

c) graphics gale: nice sprite edition software, used for the hand-made parts of this method. it only supports png and bmp formats; the paid version supports more formats.
http://www.humanbalance.net/gale/us/

II. Method

I will use kanae as an example and will recolor her legs so she can have palettes in which she is wearing stockings.

1. use fighter factory or whatever tool you normally use to export the sff file's sprites.I reccomend to move the effects to a separate folder as well as any other sprites that are not going to get modified.

2. Use irfan view to batch convert the pcx files to png files.

3. Apply the new palette to the sprites, in the case of kanae I added a new set of colors (pink) to her palette so the legs will be using that tone instead of the hair tones, you apply this palette with the mantain indexes option,using graphics gale.

regular palette

I added more tones using graphics gale.

then I apply that palette to all the sprites, I save them as png files.


4. Put the sprites with the new palette is a folder named "original", then make new folder named shifted. Use the "fishnet" to shift all the original tones to the new palette entries, in this case the skin tones to the green tones, use the shifted folder as the target.

here is an example of an already shifted file




5. Here comes the more time consuming part, now you need to delete (using the color 0) one of the shared objects, so in the case of kanae I could either delete everything that should tight colored (her hair, part of her shoes and her belt) or everything that will be tight colored ( her legs), I think it's easier to delete her legs, there is no problem if I delete something else as long as it's not part of the other shared object so I can use a relatively big brush and not be too careful to do this faster.


Now open a bunch of sprites on graphics gale, I like selecting them use page down so I can remember how many times i pressed it, once those are open I just start deleting.

the edited sprites should look something like this:

as you can see, there is no problem if you overdelete, in my case I deleted the shoes and skirt several times, but it won't matter because the pasting will take care of that.

6. With the last set done rename the folder with the deleted parts to "top" and the original folder to bottom, create a folder named target, then launch merge layers, select the apropiate folders and let it do the merging.

this is how a finished sprite looks;

note that I messed up as I wanted the legs clear and the hair dark, but this is so easily fixable that I won't tell how to do it.

Once this last step is done you should have a full set with colors separated. You can convert it to pcx again using irfan view and remount the sff.


Last Edit: August 07, 2009, 04:03:21 PM by Frederika Bernkastel~
Re: Sprite recolor tutorial
#2  August 07, 2009, 04:02:58 PM
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I will move this to tips and trick later, if I keep on waiting until I update my webpage this might not get released this year.

It took me close to one hour to do her 200 sprites.

Feel free to ask for more extra explanations of any hard to understand step/doubts, the purpose of this topic is to get the method in an easy to understand form.
Re: Sprite recolor tutorial
#3  August 07, 2009, 05:57:08 PM
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I've been using the same technique, with diferents programs evidently, the only thing is that I used to do the merge by hand.

Thanks again for the tool, it saves a lot of time.
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Re: Sprite recolor tutorial
#4  August 07, 2009, 10:14:08 PM
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something similar to the proces I use... but sometimes I made the separation process pixel by pixel...

nice tutorial!! 
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Re: Sprite recolor tutorial
#5  August 07, 2009, 10:17:41 PM
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I think carefully erasing the proper colors still takes more time than just selecting an area around them and applying a color swap script, but whatever works for each.
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Re: Sprite recolor tutorial
#6  August 07, 2009, 10:38:04 PM
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but you would have to carefully select, won't you ?
Re: Sprite recolor tutorial
#7  August 07, 2009, 10:44:22 PM
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Oh but the key difference is you can "carefully select" over other colors without a problem.
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Re: Sprite recolor tutorial
#8  August 07, 2009, 10:45:49 PM
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you can also delete other colors without problem, after all you are going to paste a transparent color over them later anyway.
[EDIT]
It's quite fun because I wanted to make a point on that by deleting the shoes and parts of the skirt in the examples.
Re: Sprite recolor tutorial
#9  August 07, 2009, 10:51:09 PM
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Ah, I see. Well I still wish we had more Koreans to handle this part of character making.
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Re: Sprite recolor tutorial
#10  August 07, 2009, 11:54:10 PM
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^Lol.

I did it pixel by pixel every time, takes hours... my thumb was hurting. Maybe, I'll read this next time I decide to color separate.